Argentina: New banana plant developed

After five years of research and cultural practices, the executive coordination of the Validation Centre of Agricultural Technology, CEDEVA, presented its first banana plant from Formosa.

They also announced that they would start the delivery of disease-free plants made in the CEDEVA's Tacaaglé bio-lab, and that 50,000 of them would have been distributed come the end.

Professionals and technicians from CEDEVA calculate that, within a year, all of the banana producers from Formosa will have disease-free plants. "It is a very good clone of the banana zone, the plant sample that was taken by CEDEVA and multiplied almost industrially and adapted to this area," said the engineer Jorge Balonga.

He reiterated that this was their first product and that it was already available to government agencies since they are also working on their first cassava and sweet potato plantlets in Tacaaglé, but have completely followed all the protocols. He insisted that "this is a banana from Formoasa that has been replicated in the lab and which has a high genetic quality and health."

"We are delivering plants that are twins, they're all the same as their parent plants. They have the same genetic make up and, as they pass through the laboratory, are cleared of all disease," said Balonga, who also stated that "compared to the mothers, these plants are 30% more productive in the fields as they are healthier."

Balonga explained that, in general, all the banana plants came from suckers or shoots of plants that neighbours and friends exchanged and that, after 50 years of proceeding this way, the plants had many diseases. "This plant is exactly the same as the mother plant; the same size, with the same fruit," he said, clarifying that "the only thing that is changing here is the plant's health status."

Balonga said that the Ministry of Industry and Environment and the PAIPPA Institute were in charge of the distribution of the plants and that they would distribute 500 plants per hectare for each producer, a number with which, thereafter, they could then make a nursery to get suckers that were healthy for the multiplications.

He also said that their aim for next year was to give healthy plants to all of the small producers of Formosa so that when they have new fields they can start off with a very healthy seed and following CEDEVA's protocol to ensure that in the short-term they increase their production and fruit quality.

Source: El Comercial

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